SEATTLE -- Robert Harvey, president/CEO of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union, said when you talk about competition, "you're not talking about an individual institution because this is an issue that spans deposits, members, or loans."
In other words, "for auto loans it is the individual seeking convenience which makes the indirect market so popular," he said, adding, "even though we are built on service, it is convenience" that dictates the competition. "Whether it is an individual buying an auto or finding a place to house deposits, you start with convenience and work up to price later on."
Again for deposits, Harvey said, "It is those special rates being offered at any given time, and every week it is a different institution offering the best rate." As it turns out, "Those credit unions with large expense ratios can offer the high dividend rates and so they become your competition."
For real estate loans, "We have no competition. We've always been better than the market. That is our niche."